Security Council Agrees to Extend UN Mission in Libya

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On Wednesday, members of UN Security Council unanimously agreed to extend the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) until 30 September. In a statement, they noted that the situation in Libya “continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security.”

During today’s UNSC meeting, the Russian representative stated that, “our main aim now is to help the Libyan people stick to the established timetable for the 24th of December parliamentary and presidential elections, and all of our efforts should be aimed to that end. We hope that this is the goal that is shared by all members of the Security Council.”

There has also been debate among members over the structure of the UN presence in Libya, with the US pushing for a UN representative to be permanently based in Tripoli. The UN’s head of mission is currently based in Geneva, but the US argues that since the country has achieved peace, they should be moved to Libya to facilitate greater engagement with actors on the ground.

Last year, Libya’s warring factions reached a fragile agreement to form a unity government, and elections were scheduled for December. Despite this progress, in August, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres warned of a “growing stalemate on the political, security, and economic” negotiations between rival factions.

Since Gaddafi’s ouster, Libyan militias have been central to almost all political processes, and have repeatedly been accused of destabilising the country, and committing acts of violence against civilians.

Ireland will assume the presidency of the Security Council in September, at a time when many issues have emerged in the region, especially in light of the successive developments in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Sudan.

According to the Irish gov.ie website, Libya will be at the top of the Security Council’s work list, in addition to other issues, including the humanitarian crisis in Syria, the military situation in Afghanistan, and the Iranian nuclear agreement.

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